The TV Guide Channel is creating America’s Next Producer, a 10-episode reality series which will be produced by Magical Elves, the company behind Project Runway. Ten contestants will live together and compete for “$100,000 in cash, a production office in Hollywood and a first-look deal with TV Guide Channel,” according to Variety, and the series will air in “a weekly primetime slot on TV Guide Channel in the summer.”
Contestants will be able to pitch any type of series, from reality to drama to game shows, and Magical Elves’ Dan Cutforth says that those ideas will be presented like they are in the industry. “Almost every network tests new scripted ideas in low-budget ways. Network executives will say to a writer, ‘We’ll give you $20,000 to spend on showing us your characters in a three-minute tape’,” he said. Thus, contestants will have to “put together a three-minute sales tape on the scope of the show you have in mind.”
Casting begins Saturday in Chicago, and then will continue in Los Angeles on March 10 and New York City from March 16 to 18, Variety reports, but no additional details are available yet. (New York Magazine published a casting notice, but it has no contact information.) TV Guide Channel President Ryan “O’Hara positions ‘America’s Next Top Producer’ as a potential signature show for the network and part of a strategy to ramp up original programming to convince cable operators and satellite distributors that they should pony up more money in license fees.”
“This is the most elaborate original production we’ve ever got involved in,” O’Hara told Variety.